10 simple ways to avoid consuming unnecessary calories

Unnecessary calories can ruin your diet.

If you are looking for an easy way to reduce the unnecessary calories in your diet, and lower your overall caloric intake throughout the day, here are a few simple and easy, yet powerful tips that might help you in achieving that.

1. Drink water.

– Have you ever felt hungry, but you were actually thirsty instead? Yes, thirst is often times confused with hunger. When your body is dehydrated and in need of immediate re-hydration, your brain can receive and send signals that might be misinterpreted as hunger. Because of this, it is very important to keep your body hydrated at all times. This also has an added benefit, when you are on a diet with caloric deficiency, keeping hydrated and filling your stomach with water might reduce the sensation of an empty stomach and hunger.
It is also advised to drink one glass of water 15 minutes before your meal to prevent yourself from overeating.

couple drinking bottled water

 

 2. Use low-fat dressings.

– Often times we think that we are eating a healthy meal, but in fact it might be the opposite. For an example, lets take the salad served at a restaurant. It might be indeed full of nutrient rich vegetables, but have a very caloric, full of sugars and fats, dressing. Dressings such as ketchup, bbq sauce, mayonnaise and many others can add to as high as 100 calories to the meal. In the end, the salad goes from being perfectly health to not a very good choice. If you still want to have some dressings on your salad, you can try to mix it with mustard, a real tomato sauce, maybe even ketchup with reduced sugar.

two spoons of salad dressings - unnecessary calories

 

3. Reduce the use of oil or butter while cooking.

– Many recipes have cooking oil as an ingredient. What they fail to mention is that one tea spoon of cooking oil can have up to 200 calories and around 16 grams of fat. This means that you are potentially consuming a fourth (1/4) of your total daily fat intake before you even begin eating. As a substitute you can use olive oil and that too reduce it to a minimum.

Vegetable oil in plastic bottle - unnecessary callores

 

4. Use smaller plates to control your portion size.

– This is one of our favorite advice. When preparing a meal or choosing a plate for your food, always avoid the biggest plates and go for the smaller plates instead. Big plates lead to big meals. Choosing a big plate has the potential to be overfilled, thus leading us to eat way more than we need. When eating in small plates, focus on the quality instead of the quantity of the food.

Portion size - unnecessary calories

 

5. Eat slow!

– This advice is next to our 3rd advice for a reason. Thinking a small plate will leave you feeling hungry? Try eating slower. Often times our brain can’t keep up with the speed we are consuming our meal. This happens because it takes some time for our blood sugar levels to rise. It also happens because our stomach has the ability to stretch 4-5 times its size before we feel the pressure, which by that time we have overfed ourselves. An added benefit of eating slower is chewing your food more thoroughly which helps your digestive system.

Plate with a clock, eat slow to avoid unnecessary calories

 

6. Eat more vegetables.

– What’s wonderful about vegetables is that they are a food which is low on calories, but rich in nutrients. The high amount of fiber that they have will make your stomach feel full. A diet which is rich in vegetables prevents heart diseases, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Our advice is to always fill half of your plate with vegetables. Make them your best friends and feel full and fed without feeling guilt.

portion control, half a plate vegetables

 

7. Limit your intake of alcohol.

– Besides preventing that bad hangover the next morning and regretting the decisions made the night before, limiting your alcohol intake can have a positive effect on your diet. Alcohol contains a lot of calories, in fact it has seven calories a gram. That is almost as many calories as a gram of fat. To make it more clear, here are a few examples:

– A pint of 5% strength beer contains 215kcal

– A glass (50ml) of (17%) cream liqueur has got 118kcal

– A standard glass (175ml) of 12% wine can add 126kcal to your diet.

two glasses of bourbon alcohol

 

8. Avoid empty calories.

– Empty calories come from solid fats and all the added sugar in your foods and beverages. What is bad about them is that they do not provide any vitamins nor minerals, but still add to your daily caloric intake. Some examples for empty calories are margarine / butter, deep fried foods, candy, ice cream, cookies and popcorn. This list can go on and on…

cookies and cakes - unnecessary calories

 

9. Read the nutritional info.

– We know it is very difficult to stop and actually read the nutrition facts because of our busy lifestyle. But just reading them doesn’t mean we often understand them. It is important to always note how big the serving size is. Sometimes a bag of chips can say that it only has 100 calories, but in fact be only for a serving of about 10 pieces. Misinterpretation of these tables can lead to consuming unnecessary calories.

How to read a nutrition facts table - unnecessary calories

 

10. Do NOT drink your calories.

– We think this should go without saying. If you are here, looking for ways to avoid consuming unnecessary calories in your diet, we believe that you already know, soft drinks are your enemy number one! Coca-Cola, “healthy juices”, iced tea, even milk, are full of unnecessary calories. A glass of Cola has about 200 calories which are mainly sugar. If we add together the amount of calories consumed throughout the year by drinking one glass of cola, it can total to as much as 17 pounds (8 kilograms). Drinking your calories can make you feel fed for only a short amount of time, unlike eating a healthy meal. Try to avoid these drinks as much as you can, and opt for drinks with no sugar.

Drink calories and how much it takes to burn them - unnecessary calories

We believe these 10 easy ways to avoid consuming unnecessary calories will help diet. These are not only for those that are looking to lose weight, but also for overall beater health.

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